Worry Monster – Useful Coping tool for Children with Anxiety

What is a Worry Monster? 

It’s a supportive character your child creates that listens to their worries and then gobbles away the worries. This is a great tool to help children voice their concerns and fears. Then allowing the adults to help that child cope and/or come up with solutions. Great for anxious children or children who are going through hard times. 

Like adults, children have things they worry about. They may worry about the first day of school, will they make friends, they may worry that mom and dad won’t come back to pick them up after drop off. 

Some of the most common fears and worries in young children are:

– Being alone
– The dark 
– Going to the doctor/dentist
– Unfamiliar places 
– Loud sounds they can’t explain

What you need:

  • Envelope or tissue box (make your own envelope)
  • Construction paper or scrap paper
  • Glue
  • Markers
  • Stickers
  • Anything you can think of to add to your worry monster 
  • Paint and paint brush

How to make your worry monster:

Whether you are using an envelope or tissue box the first step is to let your child decorate it however they would like. You can prompt them to add some eyes, nose, hair, etc. but remember this is a little monster so let them express themselves and get creative. Make sure to point out where the mouth will be. In the tissue box, we use the opening where the tissues come out of and the envelope will be the little flap. 

This little worry monster is a great coping tool that will:

– Help children express their feeling
– Take control and work through a fear
– Help children let their feelings go 

How to use the worry monster: 

  1. A great way to introduce the concept of a worry monster is by reading. Some of my favorite books that talk about worries are “Worry Monsters” or “Rubby Worry”. I would love it if you share your favorite children’s book that covers this topic. 
  2. After reading stories you can then ask your child what is something they worry about. Then choose one of those worries and have your child either draw a picture of it OR you can write it down on a piece of paper. This is a great time to have your child work through that worry. Ask them questions that prompt them to come up with a coping solution. Not all worries come with solutions, some we need to work through naturally. Do not view this as a way to solve ALL worries but rather a way to discuss those worries and share them. 
  3. When they are done feed your worry to the monster

Published by Christelle

Former Montessori School Teacher and Child Life Specialist. Specialize in early childhood education.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: